Steelers' Le'Veon Bell: Will play under franchise tag in 2017

Bell (groin) and the Steelers were unable to agree to a long-term contract prior to Monday's 4:00 p.m. EDT deadline, meaning he'll play this season under the $12.1 million franchise tag, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

Bell will be the NFL's highest-paid running back this year, but considering he hasn't signed his tender yet, he's not required to report for the start of training camp next week. Whether he does so remains to be seen, but without an extension in place, he'll become a free agent following the upcoming campaign. While that provides the 25-year-old with plenty of incentive to continue racking up huge numbers, it also puts some pressure on Bell to remain healthy. In the wake of a couple of knee injuries through his first four seasons, Bell underwent surgery in March to address a groin issue, but is expected to be ready to roll for Week 1.

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